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 Screwed Again: Like Some Tasty Black Turkey Breast Meat this Holiday???

OpinionBy Sherlyn Meinz

If the idea of preparing a big Holiday Feast and setting your turkey on the table with all the fixings, and carving into the breast, only to find it is BLACK and squishy is appealing to you - be sure to purchase a "Premium Quality" HoneySuckleWhite turkey by 'Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation' (After searching HoneySuckleWhite turkeys for contact information, I was shocked at how scary sounding the controlling company name is... Meat Solutions????) They are also responsible for Shadybrook Farms turkeys, I plan on avoiding them too.

HoneySuckleWhite's website suggests you "Serve Up Something Special Tonight" - I'll tell you, after hours of work, cutting into black Turkey breast was real special! HoneySuckleWhite does not answer their phones, you get an answering machine, and they apparently do not return messages (It's been three days.) I did get the following email reply from them: ...

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Dear Ms. Meinz:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Cargill Meat Solutions regarding your disappointment with our Honeysuckle White. We appreciate your feedback.

It sounds like your turkey has a bruise. Bruising is the escape of blood from damaged blood vessels into the surrounding muscle tissue. Bruising can occur at various times during the life span, during handling, transport, or even after harvest.

Male birds (toms) will actually fight with other male birds, as so many in the animal kingdom do, and they can sustain superficial bruising. Superficial bruising, while unsightly and unappetizing, is not harmful to the quality of the meat and can be simply cut away.

We trust that your next experience with Honeysuckle White will meet the level of excellence you have come to expect from Cargill Meat Solutions.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and again want to thank you for taking the time to contact us. Should you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to call us at 800-532-5756 or email at [email protected]


Consumer Affairs

Cargill Meat Solutions

Ref #: 000104093A

For tips, recipes and more information, visit honeysucklewhite.com or shadybrookfarms.com.

Wow, after receiving this absurd response I was, needless to say, even more furious. Never having even heard of black turkey breast meat before, I had already tossed the turkey, stuffing, and gravy a couple hours earlier - It was garbage day, and a quick online search did not reveal anyone one else experiencing black turkey meat. And who would want to take the chance on eating a clearly abused or something turkey?? But the best part was that I should just throw half the turkey away (at my expense) and trust my "next experience with Honeysuckle White will meet the level of excellence you have come to expect from Cargill Meat Solutions." ?!?!?!?? Telling me that "while unsightly and unappetizing, is not harmful to the quality of the meat and can be simply cut away". So, if the quality is not affected why should it be cut away? Huh?

Amazing! Put this kind of effort and money into a meal and just hope for a better experience? In the meantime, tough luck, my loss, after all the turkey was only half bad! Clearly they do not stand behind their product's quality, or even feel the consumer deserves a product that is more than partially edible. Well partially edible according to them, though I find it hard to imagine anyone looking at black turkey breast and wanting to eat it or anything else after that sight! I feel very lucky that it was not a holiday dinner I was serving to hungry guests, it was bad enough that I had planned to freeze many future meals from this and serve it for lunch the next day, but instead fed it all to the garbage.

So hey, want something different for your holiday table this year (or just want to totally gross out yourself and your guests) be sure to buy a Honeysuckle White turkey, from the "meat solution" people at Cargill, maybe you, too, will be lucky enough to get one that is "unsightly and unappetizing"! Enjoy and don't forget to appreciate the opportunity to buy such "Premium Quality" turkey! They even have recipes! And good luck with customer service, Tammy did not reply to a follow-up email.

[11 December 2013]

Note: Update! They sent a coupon!!!! See comment for more...

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"Like Some Tasty Black Turkey Breast Meat this Holiday???" | Login/Create an Account | 1 comment | Search Discussion
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Re: Like Some Tasty Black Turkey Breast Meat this Holiday??? (Score: 1)
by Blue1moon on Tuesday, December 17 @ 11:40:20 EST
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Update: Oh joy! I received an "up to $10.00 off" coupon towards another Honeysuckle White Turkey (it was only half bad I guess) with a letter (first and last paragraphs were exact same paste-ins as the email already received, with this addition in the middle):
"Because we guarantee your satisfaction every time you place a Honeysuckle White product on your dinner table, enclosed is a money-saving coupon to use toward a future purchase of our products. We trust that your next experience with Honeysuckle White will meet the level of excellence you have come to expect from Cargill Meat Solutions."
So really just one new sentence, since the second sentence was also a repeat of the e-mail. Needless to say, I am NOT satisfied, this ruined many many meals for me, wasted an afternoon, and the other food tossed by contamination from the black turkey... I will be sending the coupon back, I won't even leave it in the store for someother unsuspecting soul ... no one deserve a black turkey surprise for the holidays!

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